Ecommerce Video Do’s and Don’ts

By Charlie Rall and Sydney Kudeviz

Ecommerce videos are powerful tools that can work on many levels to engage customers in the the sales funnel. The difference to note between ecommerce videos and “traditional” video content (ads, video blogs, etc.) is that they are conversion focused and typically live on the product page level. But they are multi-functional and can be implemented as micro brand touch points that connect with customers on a personal level. Striking the balance between brand storytelling and directly spotlighting product features in video content can be tough. Some brands are ahead of the curve and really pushing functionality and creative content of their ecommerce videos, while others recognize the value but are still lagging behind. We explored a couple of our favorites, and one that could use some work…

Thumbs up: MODCLOTH (Sydney)

I have been a HUGE ModCloth fan for a long time. Of all their amazing site features, one of my favorites is their extensive video library and ecommerce video integration right in the product page. When I want to see more about a dress I like that ModCloth has a video of, I can see a real person wearing it, showing off different fits and colors. Of course, the pitfall of online shopping is the whole “I can’t actually try it on, touch it, use it, etc.” While that tangible experience may not be fully replicated, having well strategized video certainly helps a lot.


ModCloth’s videos are typically no more than 30 seconds and stay pretty simple visually: a basic fitting room setting and some upbeat music. And while the voiceover makes suggestions about how you could wear the item, it’s not overly intrusive. It feels like how a real sales person in a store would be. The clothes are always styled and paired with accessories for a subtle upsell. While there are many opportunities for ModCloth to grow their product videos (why not have multiple videos per page showing the particular clothing item on different body types?) so far they are off to a great start.


Thumbs Up: MOUNTAIN HARDWARE (Charlie)

Mountain Hardware is an online retailer for outdoor gear. They were early to the ecommerce video game and they still continue to pump out awesome product videos every month. Their videos run a bit longer (averaging around 2 minutes), but their content is engaging and super helpful when shopping their site. Stories behind products are best told when they come directly from the passionate people who designed them. Mountain Hardware puts their gear experts and product development staff at the forefront of each video to highlight product features and give clear demonstrations of how to use them. They rule on content and their site integration is also super sleek and intuitive for the user. Each video lives within the main product description and photo gallery. One click queues the video in “couch mode” where you can lean back and get an immersive experience with each product on screen.


Thumbs Down: FITTERFIRST (Sydney)

Fitter First is a cool fitness brand. They have some really great products for home gyms and even active office use, but they have some issues with their videos. They are extremely low quality and look like something that came out of the 1980s (and I don’t mean that in a cool retro way). We’re talking betamax garage bands music videos. The on-screen talent in each video can’t even seem to coherently talk about the product! With complex gear, your first priority with video content is to feature a knowledgeable, trustworthy narrator.


The videos are only featured on the their YouTube page, which doesn’t really help a customer browsing through their site. Their gear can be pretty unique in form and function so even having poorly-shot videos on the product page would serve some product education benefit to the shopper.


It can be a tough for a company to allocate marketing dollars to a new venture like ecommerce video, especially mid-tier brands that are growing and need to make every cent count. But great video is more accessible and affordable than ever before, so marketers can scale up on production to cover multiple products at a time. Knowing how to distribute your videos and get them working on many different levels (from SEO value to fresh social media content) is really how to get the maximum value from your production spend. Plus, ecommerce videos provide a direct evaluation of your ROI so you know what is working and what’s not.



Charlie Rall and Sydney Kudeviz are the Video Producer and Account Services Specialist at Video Review Labs, a Texas based eCommerce video startup. Video Review Labs is committed to building better customer experiences through video and helping brands sell more online. Make sure to follow @videoreviewlabs on Twitter for the latest content!


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